Phenomena

Chaos in the Lagoon Nebula

Image of the Lagoon Nebula

Even on the scale of light-years, fluid dynamics plays a role in our universe. This photograph shows the Lagoon Nebula, where stars, gas, and dust are battling for supremacy. Jets from young stars push the dust left from supernova remnants into a chaotic patterns, and the high-energy particles streaming from the youthful stars illuminate interstellar gases, creating the nebula’s distinctive glow. This section of the nebula is about 50 light-years across, so every picture we capture is only the tiniest snapshot of the true scale of its turbulence. (Image credit: Z. Wu; via APOD)

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